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High Triglycerides as a Heart Disease Risk Factor
- Though triglycerides are important for maintaining good health, high triglyceride levels are dangerous and can lead to obesity, diabetes, kidney failure and more
- To reduce unhealthy triglyceride levels, exercise regularly
- Most people who have high triglyceride levels also have high cholesterol levels
One of the most common and important types of fat found in human blood is triglycerides. It is also a major source of energy in human body. Triglycerides are extremely important for good health, but only in normal amounts. Such diseases as obesity, diabetes, kidney failure and other degenerative diseases can be hastened by excess triglycerides. These same conditions also cause the increase of triglycerides levels. When the levels of triglycerides are too high, the risks for a heart disease and hypertriglyceridemia rise.
All extra calories from the body are processed into triglycerides and kept in the fat cells for later use. No matter what food a person intakes – protein, fat or carbohydrate- the excess calories will be stored as fat. Usually if a person consumes more calories than they burn, triglycerides levels will increase as the unused calories convert to storage fat. High triglycerides levels are a strong heart disease risk factor. It becomes extremely important to keep the triglycerides below the recommended levels, especially if you are dealing with high levels of total cholesterol and ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Generally, triglycerides are measured as part of a normal CBC blood test which also measures cholesterol. Normal levels of triglycerides are below 150 ml/dl (milligrams per deciliter), high levels are 200 to 499 mg/dl, very high levels can range from 500ml/dl and higher. Most people who have high triglycerides tend to have high total cholesterol, low HDL (good) cholesterol level, and a high LDL (bad) cholesterol level. This condition is very unhealthy and needs to be corrected as soon as possible. There are several ways to lower high level of triglycerides:
• Regular exercises and physical activity
• Weight management
• Take natural nutritional supplements.
• Follow a low saturated fat and high complex carbohydrate diet ( This includes high fiber foods such as whole grains and fresh produce).
• Eat Omega-3 rich seafood (such as tuna, salmon, cod). Omega-3 fats in the fish provide compounds that are known to promote healthy blood fat levels.)
• Reduce alcohol consumption
There are many causes of high triglycerides levels. It is a well known fact that triglyceride levels increase steadily with the age, but there are a number of other factors that also affect this reading. One of key causes is obesity and a high calorie diet (usually from alcohol and sugar). Alcohol increases your liver’s production of triglycerides and reduces the amount of fat cleared from your blood. There are certain drugs that might cause high levels of triglycerides. Included in this list are steroids, birth control pills and diuretics (water pills). Certain diseases and medical conditions, such as liver disease, hypothyroidism (it is a condition when the body has low thyroid hormone production and consequently lowered metabolism), kidney disease, and diabetes might all cause increased levels of triglycerides. Heredity and some genetic disorders also can negatively influence triglycerides levels.
Unfortunately many times the symptoms of high triglycerides are barely noticeable until they have already contributed to damage in the body. If triglycerides stay at a high level for a certain period of time without necessary treatment, they might cause some general symptoms like those associated with the conditions described above, and spleen and liver enlargement can also result. Obviously any symptoms must not be ignored. Those caused by high blood fat levels such as elevated triglycerides are major risk factors for heart attacks or strokes. However these symptoms are very broad and may represent many other diseases. The best way to determine if the triglycerides levels are too high is through proper blood tests. Once these results are known, the proper course of action can be determined to ensure that health is regained.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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